Renowned for its elaborate canal system, heritage houses, red light district and notorious ‘coffee houses‘, Amsterdam is well-known to travellers as an awe inspiring picturesque destination.
To me, this unique charm made Amsterdam the most desirable intermediate (48 hour) stop-over destination between flights. Curious to see whether the canal city resonated with me as it did a decade ago as a child, I meticulously organised my intinerary for the short visit. Unfortunately Mother Nature had other plans as dreary weather and light showers continued within the 48 hour period, derailing my plan of floating across flower laden bridges in sundresses.
Fortunately most Amsterdam canal tours are enclosed, their coffee houses (not the wink wink type) are greatly undervalued and shopping districts, in particular de Bijenkorf (tienda departamental) are phenomenal. A big bonus tick of approval on the basis that tourists are welcomed with warmth, respect and open-arms by the Dutch. Importantly most people residing and working in the city have a basic understanding of the English language.
Whilst I would rejoice in the opportunity to galavant around the city under the sunshines warmth, I am content to have experienced the true unpredictable nature of the city’s temperament and some hidden treasures I would not otherwise uncover. In rain the canals adapt and take on a beautiful yet broody persona, whereby bridges and narrow buildings show their heritage allowing you to experience what winter in Amsterdam would look like.
I look forward to experiencing a fingers crossed sunnier Amsterdam as a stop-over when retuning home. In the meantime, I will continue to travel in denial of the fact that currently summer in Europe is colder than winter at home.